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My new best mate

Isn’t this description irresistible? I love word formation like hand-holdable! A 50% discount doesn’t make matters worse either.

So, what prompted me to go hunting for a magnifier lamp? Well, the past few weeks I haven’t felt like knitting much, which happens once in a while. Fortunately – as I need to keep my fingers busy anyway – I had applied for a three-week embroidery course at HV, which is where I spent most of June testing various stitches and learning about pattern and technique traditions. Pure luxury!

Above is a sample where I started testing blackwork and ended up with four variations. It was satisfying in a way similar to knitting swatches. Working the small one, first every second stitch with a single strand of yellow silk and then the rest with a strand of light green silk, is probably what made me decide I’d get a lamp to use at home!

I enjoyed techniques where you count threads best, like whitework where you work with pulled and drawn threads

pulled threads (hopdragssömmar)

drawn threads (utdragssömmar)

but it was also fun (but difficult!) to try to create pictures in the woolly horror vacui tradition of southern Sweden. Many old patterns show horses, which gave me the idea to make a needle case with seahorses (far more to my taste) which in turn led to other ocean-related shapes. A great way to test different stitches!

The seagrass on the cover was actually a last-moment solution to cover shell outlines where I failed miserably. They looked like skulls or mushrooms!

Seahorses may not have toothy grins, but there was some space that I couldn’t resist making use of:

And the whole thing looks like this:

Looking at my needle case makes me wonder if I’m five years old, but a quick glance at the magnifier lamp box reminds me I’m not. So be it – as long as I don’t have to stitch her project design.

Source: New feed

Welcome Mocs

I simply could not resist knitting up these sweet tiny moccasins for a friend of mine who is expecting.

The pattern is called Welcome Mocs and is included in the adorable new booklet, New Guy, by designer Kate Oates
I used Quince and Co. Tern to knit up this little pair and it hardly took any time or yarn to make them! I could probably squeeze two more pairs out of the remainder of the skein.
I am so happy with these cute little shoes. 
It almost makes me want to have another baby of my own… almost.

Source: loom2

Announcing the Summer of Reading that Will Change Your Life


Greetings, it’s been a long time! I am embarking on a summer of reading life-changing books, and I invite you to join me. Here’s the skinny:

The Summer of Reading that Will Change Your Life! Here are the books I’ve picked to read between now and Labor Day. Will you join me? If any/all appeal to you, please post which you want to read so that we can discuss. I have no particular order in mind:

This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
How Can I Help by Ram Dass
Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion

Who’s in?
Source: New feed

Operation Bottle Beanies!

Schnapps and I are very excited about our latest project, Operation Bottle Beanies!  This has been a dream for quite some time and now it’s finally coming to fruition.  Fifer Orchards in Camden-Wyoming, Delaware is partnering with us in a brand new initiative to try to keep people warm this Winter. 
Sure, it’s the end of June and temperatures are soaring.  But, before we know it, the cold weather will be back and so many people do not have the proper shelter or clothing to get through those chilly months.  We heard about The Big Knit in the UK – sponsored by Innocent Drinks a few years ago and the concept of Operation Bottle Beanie was born.  No one was willing to partner with me until I spoke to the great people at Fifer’s! 

Operation Bottle Beanies is already underway! 
We are collecting tiny hats that will be placed on jars and bottles at Fifer’s Farm Store in the Fall. From olive oil bottles up to quart size mason jars and all sizes in between! These hats will be sold for $1 each and 100% of that money will be donated to keep people in Delaware warm this winter.  Yes, it is just for Delaware right now, but Schnapps and I are dreaming big…….we hope that someday it reaches well beyond our tiny state.  

We need LOTS of tiny hats!  We need themed hats for Fall and Winter such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and more.  We need farm themed hats like bee hives, pumpkins, apples, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables.  We need adorable hats of any theme or type!  Sizes vary since there are many different items sold in the store; apple butter, local honey,  jams, oils, pickles and so many other yummy things.  
This is a great way to use up that scrap yarn! All yarn types are welcome.  And it’s a great summer knitting project, since these tiny beanies aren’t too hot to hold on a sweltering day.  
Schnapps has been working on some bottle beanies too and we will try to put together some patterns for those who want them.  However, any type of hat pattern will work.  Wine bottle hat patterns would work or you can use slightly larger needles and a thicker yarn.  Preemie size hat patterns work for quart size jars and any regular hat pattern can be scaled smaller to fit. 

This is a way to use my knitting to make a difference in other ways as well.  I grew up in NYC and frequently saw homeless people with no place to go in the bad weather.  Sometimes I brought in extra blankets or clothes.  Frequently I stopped and got an extra coffee.  It seems to me that a country that has billions of dollars to give to to other countries should never have anyone without a safe place to live.  However, in reality, we have many.  I still struggle with the fact that I am just one person and I can’t fix everything.  But, I am hoping that little by little, Schnapps and I will manage to make some positive differences in our community.  Please consider helping, even if you only have time to make one tiny bottle beanie.

Mom and I want to help everyone stay warm this Winter!

Hats can be sent directly to:
DEHH
202 Acorn Forest Drive
Felton, DE 19943
Hats can also be dropped off at any of the library drop off sites for Delaware Head Huggers and Kozy Kovers for Kids.  The complete list of those may be found here.  

 If you’re not a fan of Delaware Head Huggers yet, stop by and “Like” our Facebook page.  Help us name the patterns and see all the beautiful hats that are donated.  Stop by Kozy Kovers for Kids Facebook page too!  We welcome everyone to join us.  Stop by and say hello.  You can always reach Schnapps or me at robin@delawareheadhuggers.org too!

Patterns in Inspired Hope!

Our new e-book Inspired Hope is now for sale too.  The patterns and the e-book can be found in our Craftsy and Ravelry stores – the links are also on the right hand side of this page.  There is also a “buy now” button for Inspired Hope on the right hand side as well.  100% of the price goes right back into DEHH and KKforK.
 

Source: New feed

50% off Weekend Summer Sale Beginning Tomorrow!

Let’s start the summer off right! 
Save 50% on all Never Not Knitting individual pattern pdfs starting tomorrow 
Friday, June 26th – Monday, June 29th!
Enter the code ” SummerSale2015” in the checkout process HERE on my blog or HERE in my Ravelry store to receive your discount.
This sale includes all single digital pdf patterns in the Never Not Knitting pattern line but does not include e-books or any printed materials. Promotion will run from midnight-midnight PST.
Have fun and happy knitting! :)

Source: loom2

Introducing Inspired Hope – the e-book!

Schnapps has been hard at work designing hats that were inspired by Spring!  What better time to release the patterns than on the first day of Summer!
This e-book contains 8 patterns.  Six are never before published patterns with information about all yarn weights and sizing changes.  Two are the latest patterns published here, but in PDF form.  The new patterns are also sold separately.  The book is $15, which is only $2.50 for each new pattern.  Individual patterns will sell for $4 each.  The PDFs of the two free patterns posted here will also be sold separately on Craftsy for $1.50 each. 
Many people ask us why we don’t start a Go Fund Me page or pay to become a non-profit.  We do this because we love to do it and we are uncomfortable asking people to give us money for nothing in return.  I have a very few, special people who do donate regularly.  The Fabulous Lynn covers the cost of shipping at least 2 big boxes of hats each month.  Some others send a few dollars when they can.  ALL is appreciated.  However, Schnapps and I feel more comfortable offering some patterns for sale instead of starting a fund raising page.  
We hope you enjoy the patterns and are willing to support us.  Schnapps worked long and hard on these patterns and pushed his little paws to create fun, interesting hats.  Just think of all the color combinations that are possible!

“Happy Summer Everyone!”

The patterns and the e-book can be found in our Craftsy and Ravelry stores – the links are also on the right hand side of this page.  There is also a “buy now” button for Inspired Hope on the right hand side as well.
Here are the patterns included:

Hope & Love (one view)

Hope & Love (second view)

Daffodil Dreams

At the Lake

Sidewalk Chalk

Creamsicle Swirl

Italian Ice

Promise

Sea & Sand
If you’re not a fan of Delaware Head Huggers yet, stop by and “Like” our Facebook page.  Help us name the patterns and see all the beautiful hats that are donated.  Stop by Kozy Kovers for Kids Facebook page too!  We welcome everyone to join us.  Stop by and say hello.  You can always reach Schnapps or me at robin@delawareheadhuggers.org too!

Source: New feed

Never Not Knitting… The Yarn Shop!

I have a little confession. I’ve been keeping a secret from you.
Kind of a big one.
I am opening up a yarn shop! 
I know!
As many of you already know, a few years back I started a small publishing and wholesale distribution company called NNK Press. Recently we decided to move our offices downtown and use the front of our office for an adorably tiny, but quaint storefront.
As you can see we don’t have a lot of room to work with, so we are not able to function as a full-service knit shop. Instead our selection will be limited to a curated collection of specialty yarns and notions. My goal is really to support and showcase the work of independent artists. You will find some gems here you may never see anywhere else!
We are starting with a selection of yarn from three of my favorite yarn companies.
All are beautiful and a bit uncommon. All bring something special to our small space.



To get away from shelves of patterns stored in binders, I organized all of our single patterns in these cute file boxes alphabetically and by type. I love the way these turned out.
One of my favorite decorative parts of the shop are these fun yarn balls that I have hanging in all of the front windows! 
Thank you Pinterest. Thank you.

I am hoping that the Never Not Knitting retail store will be a fun stop for our local knitters as well as for all of you traveling the California coastline. If you are in our area, please stop by and say hello!
We are opening up this Friday the 19th from 10am-6pm!
Everyone who comes and visits us on our opening day will receive a free pattern!
Never Not Knitting
5990 Entrada Ave.
Atascadero, CA 93422
We accept orders by phone: 805. 703. 4010 
Business Hours: Mon, Wed, and Fri 10am-5pm
Hope to see you there!

Source: loom2

Introducing Sea & Sand!

We can not believe it is already June!  Do you realize there are less than 30 weeks until Christmas?!  2015 is flying by, but Schnapps is busy knitting all the time.  We had some gifts that had to be made and we just had work done on our home which kept us busy so we were not posting new patterns.  Things are calming down now and we are going through our cotton and cotton blend yarn stash and making new hats!  Schnapps made this one yesterday and it just reminded me of the sea and the sand.

He used 2 strands of Knit Picks CotLin yarn worked as one throughout.  We love that yarn – it’s cool and crisp and soft.  There are instructions for how to adjust this pattern for other yarn weights below.  You could certainly knit this in just one color also and other color combinations would look great as well.
Schnapps is working on putting together an e-book with new pattern PDFs soon.  Here are a couple of his other latest hats:

If you’re not a fan of Delaware Head Huggers yet, stop by and “Like” our Facebook page.  Help us name the patterns and see all the beautiful hats that are donated.  Stop by Kozy Kovers for Kids Facebook page too!  We welcome everyone to join us.  Stop by and say hello.  You can always reach Schnapps or me at robin@delawareheadhuggers.org too!
My happy boy! 
Schnapps and I made new house numbers recently and we have been working hard on our flower garden!  We both miss Winter though!  

Sea & Sand

 You will need 120 or so yards of a sport weight yarn and size 10.5 needles.  
Read below for information about 
 changing the sizing.
Abbreviations:
C2R:  next stitch to cable needle, held at back, slip 1 purlwise from LH needle (with yarn at back), then knit 1 from the cable needle
C2L: next stitch to cable needle at front, knit 1 from LH needle, the slip the stitch purwise from the cable needle (yarn at back)
k2tog:  knit 2 stitches together as one

Holding 2 strands of Color A together, cast on 65 stitches, place marker and join, taking care not to twist stitches.

Work Brim Using Color A:
Row 1:  knit all stitches
Repeat Row 1 until piece is 3 to 3.5 inches long.

Switch to Color B:

Foundation Row:  knit all stitches

Row 1:  *k1, C2R, k2, C2R, k1, C2L, K3*; repeat around
Row 2 and all even rows:  knit all stitches
Row 3:   *k4, C2R, k1, C2L, k2*; repeat around
Row 5:    *k3, C2R, k1, C2L, k2, C2L, k1*; repeat around
Row 7:    *k2, C2R, k3, C2L, k4*; repeat around
Row 9:    knit all stitches

Repeat Pattern Rows 1 – 8 if needed. 

Switch to Color A:
Row 1:  knit all stitches
Repeat Row 1 until piece is 6.5 to 7 inches long.

Decrease Crown:  use dpn’s when needed

Row 1: *k11,  k2tog*; repeat around
Row 2: *k10, k2tog*; repeat around
Row 3: *k9, k2tog*; repeat around
Row 4: *k8,  k2tog*; repeat around
Row 5: *k7, k2tog*; repeat around
Row 6: *k6, k2tog*; repeat around
Row 7: *k5, k2tog*; repeat around
Row 8:  *k4, k2tog*; repeat around
Row 9:   *k3, k2tog*; repeat around
Row 10: *k2, k2tog*; repeat around
Row 11: *k1, k2tog*; repeat around
Row 12:  *k2tog*; repeat around

Finish: Cut working yarn, leaving a 6-inch tail.  Draw the tail through the remaining stitches, cinch closed and secure.  Weave in ends and give it to someone special!


This hat was worked using 2 strands of 3 weight yarn held together as one.  This could easily be changed to one strand of 5-weight yarn.

To use 6-weight yarn, use size 13 needles and cast on 52 stitches.  You might prefer to start your crown decrease at 7.5 to 8  inches and begin with decrease Row 10.

To use 4-weight yarn, use size 8 needles and cast on 78 stitches.  Repeat pattern rows if desired.

To use one strand of 3 weight yarn, use size 5 needles, cast on 104 stitches and repeat pattern rows if desired.

The pattern is worked over 13 stitches. 

Source: New feed

June meeting


Oh it’s come round quickly again!  Yes its Fleet Knitting Club again on Tuesday, 8 pm.  This time we will be doing some hand tooling of stitch patterns on a mid-gauge machine.  Simple but effective.  And most, if not all, of the techniques can be done by hand too.
Of course we’d also like to see what you’ve been knitting this month so do bring that along as well.
—————–
 
The date will be Tuesday 2nd June   The time is 8 pm.   Look forward to seeing you there.  Visitors and new members are welcome any time.

Source: Knit

May meeting update

May – hasn’t it gone quickly!  Still there is time for me to update you on the May meeting before it turns to June.


We had a lovely, chatty and busy evening.

Some were working on their own projects and some on the project of the evening.

This is the result of our evenings work – they are knitters bits holders! And some progress on our own projects of course but I didn’t photograph that too.  See the pre-meeting post for the link to the website where we found the information about how to make them.And very useful they will be too.


And here now are some of the show and tell items – Carole knitted this lovely lacy shrug.  Just the think for a cool evening.

Nina knitted these three pink fleck cardigans for her three granddaughters.  (sorry the camera didn’t want to take auto-flash – there was enough light in the room not to need it, but it gave an odd light to this photo.)

More from Carole – an evening stole this time beautifully knitted and pressed.

Another one from Carole – a cowl neck warmer- all ready now for the cooler weather

Janet crocheted these two lap blankets.  Just the job for using up all those odd bits that are left at the end of a  larger project.

 We do like to see what our members have knitted and hope you enjoy looking at them too.

Source: Knit